What is the UK Innovation Fund?

As many industries evolve to become more technologically advanced, so should businesses. But how should you choose the technology that should be upgraded?The world is full of skilled and experienced advisors and organisations promoting innovation and the development of industries and companies. One of these is Innovate UK, which runs a number of funding competitions to support innovation in a range of different sectors and expertise, for example:

1.Emerging and enabling technologies

2.Infrastructure systems

3.Manufacturing and materials

4.Health and life sciences

Companies may take part in these competitions to win a governmental grant and help provide a solution for any current problems they may be facing. It is a very prestigious prize to be a UK Innovation Fund winner and it can be a large factor in boosting any company’s innovation and R&D in order to reach higher levels of advancement.

Innovate UK = support for development and innovation

Innovate UK is a part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

nnovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas:

“We connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth.

We fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions.”

For more information visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org

Through the competitions and through other means, Innovate UK enables, supports and reduces the risks of innovation. The innovation can be achieved through collaboration between stakeholders. Since 2007, they have invested around £2.5 billion in businesses all over the UK, matched by £1.8 billion from industry. Additionally, they pride themselves in the fact that they have helped 8,500 organisations with projects estimated to add more than £18 billion to the UK economy and create 70,000 jobs.

Innovation designed to help people – Biomedical Catalyst 2017

At the end of November 2017 another competition started where small and medium UK businesses could apply for a share of up to £4 million, either working alone or cooperating with others on solving healthcare challenges. It was named Biomedical Catalyst 2017. The competition closed in February 2018 and met with many positive opinions. But what was it about?

According to the government Innovation Funding Service the aim was to support the development of innovative healthcare products, technologies and processes. These could include:

disease prevention and proactive management of health and chronic conditions

earlier and better detection and diagnosis of disease, leading to better patient outcomes

tailored treatments that either change the underlying disease or offer potential cures

The work was divided into stages and was designed to help SMEs which were developing a product, service or process for an innovative solution to health and care challenges.

The size of the project ranged between £200,000 and £4 million and should have lasted from 12 to 36 months.

To find more information about this project visit the official website GOV.UK

QuickFit – one of the winning projects

In the beginning of 2018, the QuickFit project was announced the winner of the Biomedical Catalyst 2017 competition. The project aim was to develop a way of quick fitting prosthetic sockets for above knee amputees. The team wanted to reduce the time it took for fitting the sockets from months to days and increase the comfort of their patients. QuickFit was designed to help people get better faster but also to help the economy. It was proven that it would save a lot of public money and the return of investment would be very quick. After months of work the concept was evaluated by the assessors and jury who later gave feedback about the work. One of them stated that:

“A well rounded and diverse team covering all necessary skill sets and expertise required to deliver the proposals objectives[…]”

Right now, one year after the beginning of the competition, the QuickFit project is at the beginning of the implementation process and in a few years we will be able to see the results by ourselves.

The UK Innovation Fund and the competitions give many companies a chance to develop and boost the innovation. Winning a governmental grant in this field is a great honour especially when the project can actually help people and increase their comfort of living. At Headchannel we are proud of the achievements and the effort that we have put into this initiative.

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